Trade finance is witnessing a notable shift towards digitization and sustainability across the Nordics. With a strong emphasis on environmental and social responsibility, Scandinavian businesses are increasingly adopting eco-friendly practices in their trade operations through a growing reliance on technology to streamline processes and enhance transparency. The region’s robust financial infrastructure and commitment to innovation position it at the forefront of the global trade finance landscape. As sustainability becomes a key driver, Scandinavian corporates and financial institutions are some of the world’s trailblazers in digital trade finance, marking a transformative trend in the industry.

In the heart of chilly Helsinki at the headquarters of OP Bank, the International Trade and Forfaiting Association (ITFA) and the Finnish Fintech Ecosystem, hosted a recent event for the trade community, at which Surecomp was a proud sponsor.

Sharing examples at the event of its collaborative trade finance platform in practice, here we summarize how Konecranes Plc and Danske Bank are using RIVO™ to revolutionize their trade finance operations.

Automating bank guarantee management

Last year, Konecranes made a strategic decision to streamline its guarantee management process, going live with Surecomp’s RIVO™ in October 2023. One of the world’s largest crane manufacturers operating in over 50 countries, Konecranes was challenged by a mixture of decentralized and centralized processes, requesting several hundred bank guarantees annually either using an old multibank system mainly used in Finland, Germany and Sweden, bank web-portals or via email. For Konecranes it was important to find a platform which can be used in all 50 countries. Having the potential to use RIVO for parent company guarantees and incoming guarantees was of great value. Recognizing the need for a robust solution to simplify its internal workflow, Konecranes also uses RIVO to improve communication with its banking and trading partners, and importantly to centralize control and visibility of its credit lines. The next stage will be to roll RIVO out across all Konecranes’ subsidiary countries, and to invite beneficiaries to also join the platform for further expanded ecosystem collaboration.

“RIVO will become our single and global platform for all guarantee related activity,” explains Matti Malminen, Vice President, Trade & Export Finance at Konecranes. “We can connect in the future in real-time with our banks, we can closely monitor and assess the progress of applications across the globe and we can maintain full visibility of our credit lines and utilization. On top of the important multibank connectivity, RIVO will work as a back-office platform for Konecranes and when all 50 countries are connected, the official reporting of the guarantees will be much easier than today.”

With Danske Bank also leveraging Surecomp’s RIVO to access, amend and approve customer guarantee applications, it no longer relies on insecure and error-prone email to manage document exchange and customer communication. It too can now seamlessly process and update the status of these applications in real-time for much faster approvals and issuance. This support to corporate customers like Konecranes who are also on RIVO is delivering faster service and enhanced customer satisfaction.

The adoption of RIVO by both Konecranes and Danske Bank – which is hosted securely in the cloud with Amazon Web Services (AWS) – signifies a commitment by companies in the Nordics to achieving greater sustainability, efficiency and transparency in their trade finance management. RIVO enables real-time tracking of applications, providing Konecranes with unparalleled visibility into the entire process. The streamlined workflow facilitates better communication, the data-driven insights and reporting lead to quicker decision-making support and the accelerated transaction process improves customer service.

“We’re extremely pleased that Konecranes, who is an important customer of ours, has invited us to join the RIVO platform,” says Jukka Kuusala, SVP Head of Global Trade Finance  at Danske Bank. “Being able to communicate in real-time with our customers to receive, amend and finalize a finance agreement, while also having centralized access to the other fintechs on the platform, means that we can approve lending so much more efficiently and with full insight of every detail across the entire transaction. We see this as a logical step for us as part of our commitment to professionally meeting and exceeding customer expectations within the vast area of global trade finance.”

Expanding the trade tech horizons

The final piece of the RIVO jigsaw is the partner ecosystem. By plugging data gaps with specially selected fintech partnerships, RIVO customers can benefit from a truly holistic trade finance management process in one platform. For example, one such Nordic partner is the Stockholm-based provider of digital original documents Enigio. It’s trace:original solution embedded into RIVO allows customers to create, manage and exchange digital trade documents in their original state, providing assurance that their content has not been manipulated or altered, and remains in the same state as any paper-based original. It allows full lifetime management of a guarantee in one verifiable digital document, with any data standard attached. Other partners provide insights for maritime vessel tracking, ESG scoring, compliance checks and sanction screening, all of which together enable complete visibility and control of the trade finance transaction process.

“We are excited to see that RIVO is ready to unleash the potential of trace:original’s technology to enable banks and corporates to replace paper guarantees with digital guarantees. Now it is possible to have a seamless end to end digital guarantee process for all parties involved,” says Patrik Zekkar, CEO of Enigio.

“This collaboration between multiple parties is exactly what we are looking to achieve,” says Achraf Abourida, Surecomp’s head of product development. “It not only showcases the trust placed in Surecomp’s cutting-edge technology but also highlights the growing importance of streamlined processes to optimize productivity and revenue growth potential. As RIVO continues to empower companies of all sizes with its innovative features, the collaboration between corporates, banks and fintechs serves as a testament to the platform’s ability to drive efficiency, enhance visibility, and elevate the overall customer experience.”